Making news headlines these days is James Cameron’s successful solo dive to the deepest known region of the ocean – the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. The National Geographic-Rolex Deepsea Challenge chronicles this amazing feat of exploration which has only been done once before.
Three reflections on this journey to the depths:
(1) How vast and intricate the creation of God is and how little man knows and tentatively understands by comparison. God asks Job in Job 38 “Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep?” We are only beginning in a small way to even see the depths of what God has made, let alone understand them.
(2) This is all God’s handiwork, he made it, he owns it, he reigns over it. “The Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.” (Psalm 95:3-5)
(3) What is man, what are we, that God is mindful of us, that he has crowned us with glory and honor, and given us dominion over the works of his hands, putting all things under our feet? (Psalm 8) We should marvel at and give thanks to God for the gifts he has given to men like James Cameron. Yet at the same time we should reflect on why the sea is so dangerous and inhospitable to us. Why is it a graveyard of ships and men? Why are the oceans, so full of beauty and intricate complexity, so massive and vast in scale, also marked by violence and decay?
Romans 8 tells us the “whole creation groans”, and is subjected to futility and decay, because of sin and the weight of God’s just curse on it.
Scripture also declares the sure hope of the Christian. Psalm 8 gloriously declares the true Savior, the only one who can solve our and the world’s problems, bringing all sin, danger and death to an end for everyone who by his grace is brought to faith, to new life through the person and work of “Jesus, crowned with glory and honor…” “It was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many things to glory, should make the founder their salvation perfect through suffering… he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:9-10, 17) He is the one who descended into the darkest depth of the full, crushing weight of God’s wrath. The day is coming when he will set “the creation itself… free from its bondage to decay” bringing it “into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21) — the new heaven and earth in which only righteousness will dwell.